Many pet owners have shown an interest in CBD oil for dogs as a natural way to enhance the health and wellbeing of their pets. CBD, or cannabidiol, can offer a wide range of health benefits for animals, just as it can for humans. In this article we'll offer background information on CBD oils for dogs as well our recommendations for the best brands and products.
To help clarify any misconceptions about the use of CBD on animals, we wanted to outline important information regarding effects, dosing, and scientific research related to CBD use on pets. Those that have personally tried CBD for their pets say it has the potential to reduce pain, anxiety, inflammatory conditions, and seizures, among other advantages.
It's worth doing your own research to find the best CBD solution for your pet, since they now come in CBD treats, shampoos, peanut butters, and more. Our article will recommend the best CBD oils for dogs and will also provide important information for you to consider about giving CBD to your pets.
Our Top Picks for Dog CBD Oils
- Best Organic Oil - NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD
- Best Price - Medterra Pets CBD
- Best Flavor - Cornbread Hemp CBD Oil for Pets
- Best Variety - Honest Paws USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs
- Best Satisfaction Guarantee - CBDistillery CBD Pet
Below is our list of the best CBD oil products for dogs. Each of these brands has exhibited a commitment to third-party lab testing and creates products we think you and your pet can trust.
How We Review CBD Oil for Dogs
To create our list of best CBD tinctures for dogs, we evaluated each brand and product on six specific categories that we use for all of our reviews.
- Value — Is the brand's pet CBD oil affordable and does it work as advertised?
- Strength — How many total milligrams of CBD does each dose of CBD oil contain? Is it full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate?
- Source — Where does the company get its hemp? Is it grown in the USA?
- Flavor — Do they flavor their CBD oil? If so, do they use natural ingredients?
- Transparency — Can you view third-party lab test results and information about their extraction process?
- Customer Experience — Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee? What do customer reviews say about the product?
Learn more about our picks for best CBD oils for dogs below.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
NuLeaf Naturals makes dosing easier, as the oils all come in a consistent strength. NuLeaf Naturals offers a clean, natural way to try plant-based relief for your pet. All products are also certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture —the only dog CBD products to bear that distinction.
Strength: 3mg full spectrum CBD per dose, available in 300mg, 900mg, and 1800mg size bottles
Why buy: USDA certified organic; full spectrum CBD oil; Co2 extraction method from hemp grown in Colorado; third-party lab tested with results available online.
All Medterra pet products are THC free and this CBD oil comes in a natural beef flavor. Concentrations available are 150, 300, and 750 milligrams per bottle. As with Medterra's human-focused products, these oils are made with Kentucky-grown hemp.
Strength: 150mg, 300mg, or 750mg broad spectrum CBD per bottle.
Why buy: THC-free broad spectrum CBD; natural beef flavoring; organically grown, non-GMO hemp from Kentucky; U.S. Hemp Authority Certified;
Cornbread Hemp's CBD Oil for Pets is made to be tastier for your dog (or cat) with a vegan corndog flavor. This makes it more appealing to furry friends than the natural flavors of some CBD oils. It's also vegan, non-GMO, and contains no fillers or preservatives. All of their products are also third-party lab tested and include seed-to-sale tracking and a tamper-proof seal.
Strength: 17 mg full spectrum CBD per serving, 500 mg per bottle.
Why buy: This CBD oil for pets from Cornbread Hemp contains a stronger concentration of CBD per serving than some other alternatives; includes vegan corndog flavoring to make it easier to add to your dog's diet.
Honest Paws is a brand specifically dedicated to high-quality CBD products for pets. They sell everything from CBD peanut butter and treats to shampoo and more. Their Wellness line of USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs is made from full spectrum hemp and can help boost your dog's immune system as well as their physical and mental wellbeing. Since it's made from organic hemp, you can trust that it is free from preservatives, additives, pesticides, soy, corn and GMO products.
Strength: 125mg per bottle (for small dogs), 250mg per bottle (for medium dogs), 500mg per bottle (for large dogs)
Why buy: USDA certified organic; full spectrum quality CBD oil; easy to access lab results online; tincture makes it simple to apply CBD with a dropper in your dog's food.
CBDistillery CBD products are processed in cold-pressed hemp seed oil. This is meant to aid in the dog's digestion of the product. They have a 150-milligram tincture for small to medium sized dogs and a 600-milligram pet CBD oil made for larger breeds — each is affordable when compared to other brands on the market.
Strength: 5mg or 20mg full spectrum CBD per serving, available in 150mg and 600mg size bottles
Why buy: Non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the U.S.; full spectrum CBD oil; cold-pressed hemp seed oil; U.S. Hemp Authority Certified; 60-day money back guarantee; third-party lab tested with easily accessible results.
About CBD for Dogs
When it comes to cannabis, dogs have a slightly different endocannabinoid system than humans. Canines have a higher concentration of CB1 receptors in the cerebellum than any other species, and THC is a partial agonist of these receptors. This means that dogs have increased sensitivity to THC, but since CBD is different compound it does not have much direct action with these CB1 receptors. Since CBD oils made from hemp have high amounts of CBD and extremely low amounts of THC, it's unlikely that CBD would harm your dog. Any product high in THC should probably be avoided unless otherwise recommended by a trusted vet.
While THC may have medicinal value in certain cases, it can produce a psychoactive effect that might actually increase anxiety in animals when administered in high doses. If you want to introduce cannabis extracted ingredients into your dog's diet, it's generally safer to use CBD dominant extracts.
Although THC and CBD can be used in conjunction for therapeutic purposes, it's more difficult to obtain extracts with a high concentration of THC — unless you live in one of the few states that allows for recreational marijuana use. Cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC are preferred, as they are considered to be widely available and legal in more areas. Lab test results, especially from a third party lab, can determine the percentage of CBD and THC within a cannabis extract. This way, you can ensure that any cannabis extract given to your dog is accurately labeled and contains only CBD extracted from hemp.
CBD Oil for Dogs FAQs
What are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs?
There are plenty of personal stories about the health benefits of CBD on pets, but what science is there to back up these claims?
One survey from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) included responses from more than 600 pet owners, and found that the most successful uses of CBD in pets were:
- Pain relief
- Sleep aid
- Anxiety relief (including thunderstorm or firework phobia)
- Nervous system support
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced seizures
- Preventing vomiting and nausea
- Mitigating muscle spasms
- Helping with digestive tract issues
- Skin condition treatments
On top of these findings, a recent scientific study conducted by Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine has shown that CBD oil helped decrease pain, and increase activity, in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis.
How do I choose the right CBD product for my pet?
With increased popularity in CBD and hemp products, new sellers are popping up everyday. There are a range of CBD products designed for pet owners, including:
- Sprays (oral and topical)
- Dog treats
- Balms, salves, and other topical treatments
It can be difficult to distinguish between the quality of different brands and what product is best suited for your pet. You'll want to do your homework before buying anything. We recommend using CBD products that are intended for pets, as well as brands who use third-party labs to verify CBD potency and test for the presence of any pesticides, microbials, or solvents.
Most quality CBD pet products will have dosing guidelines, which makes it easier for owners to give their animal the right amount. But these guidelines are often coming from the company, not a veterinarian, so keep this in mind.
It's important to take existing medications into consideration before using CBD on your pet, as it may alter the efficacy of these treatments for certain conditions. According to Dr. Tim Shu, CEO and founder of VETCBD, "CBD has been shown to be very safe across a wide range of doses in multiple animal species. But if an animal is on other medications, especially ones with narrow therapeutic ranges, a pet owner should discuss the concurrent use of CBD with their veterinarian prior to starting."
Using CBD products designed for human consumption can be a bit more difficult, and they may include ingredients that are not healthy for dogs or cats to ingest. Currently, there are no pet products certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
What should I look for in CBD for my dog?
Here are four important factors to consider when shopping for a CBD oil for dogs:
- CBD products extracted from hemp: CBD can be extracted from hemp or marijuana, as both plants are from the cannabis family. Marijuana plants contain more THC than hemp plants, so it's likely that marijuana extracted CBD products will have a higher concentration of THC. CBD oils extracted from hemp can sometimes still contain trace amounts of THC. Some brands distill out these cannabinoids and terpenes to create a CBD isolate, but we recommend using full-spectrum CBD extracts for a synergistic effect and greater therapeutic value.
- The product's origin story: Since cannabis is a hyperaccumulator, it absorbs the elements of the ground within which it was grown. This is of particular concern when it comes to CBD oil because heavy metal toxicity can be prevalent, and you certainly don't want to feed your pet anything toxic. Even "natural" doesn't always equal safe. Make sure you know where a product's hemp was sourced and how it was grown.
- Is it infused with oil? CBD oil for dogs is easy to add into your pet's food without them detecting a difference. For ease of absorption, look for a CBD product that's infused with olive oil. Olive oil is rich in unsaturated fats, and healthier for your pet than other options like coconut oil.
- Is it made with CBD or hemp seed oil? Hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD oil, and this can cause some confusion. Hemp seed extract is pressed from the seeds of hemp to produce an oil that may help give your dog a shinier coat or better skin, but it does not contain any cannabinoids. Some products contain both.
Our curated list above features some of our favorite CBD brands selling trusted pet products.
Is CBD safe for dogs?
In the emerging CBD space, it helps to look to medical professionals, review sites, and other experts to help you decide if CBD is the right fit for your dog.
The American Kennel Club says "while there's no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there's anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures."
There is also some compelling research now being done on CBD's effects on canines. For instance, a study conducted by Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine showed that treatment with CBD oil resulted in decreased pain for dogs with osteoarthritis.
And in a survey collected by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, data from over 600 pet owners found that CBD use in animals also seems to yield positive results. These owners found success using CBD for anxiety relief, sleep assistance, nervous response support, treating skin conditions, reducing nausea, and preventing inflammation in dogs.
What are the side effects and risks?
The biggest risks to pets when given CBD are usually caused by an overdose of the compound. Some adverse side effects, such as an upset stomach or drowsiness, may occur in rare instances — but these can likely be avoided by supplying the proper dose.
If you're using a product that includes THC, you increase the risk that your pet may have a negative reaction. Dogs that suffer from too much THC intake develop static ataxia, which is specific to canines and results in loss of muscle coordination, balance, and problems controlling their bowels or bladders. For this reason, proper dosing of CBD and THC products is extremely important.
How much CBD should I give my dog?
Since official dosing recommendations from the veterinary community are limited, it's always best to start small. You can increase dosage slowly to gage your pet's response, and once you notice positive improvements in their condition, you can stick to this dose amount. Most products come with dosage recommendations and guidelines, depending on the size of your pet.
A general guideline is 0.2mg of CBD per pound of body weight per day.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Dogs
Although CBD is generally considered to be safe for pets, it has not been approved by the FDA for this purpose. For this reason, it's important that you do your research and find a CBD product that you trust with verifiable third-party lab testing results.
As with anything you give your pet, it's important to recognize when something's off. If you are concerned about how your dog or cat is responding to CBD, contact your veterinarian and discontinue use of the product until professional guidance has been given.
- Best CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression 2020 – Top 5 Reviews ... ›
- Best CBD Oil for Pain - Top 10 CBD Oil Review 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- CBD Oil for Dogs: 7 Benefits & Treatment Guide - EcoWatch ›
- The Best Organic CBD Oils Available in 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- CBD for Dogs: Best CBD Dog Treats of 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- Best (Tested) CBD Oil in the UK - 2021 Reviews ›
- Best CBD Creams, Salves, and Lotions [2021 Update] ›
- 5 Best CBD Gummies Available | EcoWatch.com ›
Despite public resistance, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to ban the possession and breeding of 16 high-risk invasive species.
The new ruling, approved late last month, includes Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus, green iguanas and 13 other high-risk, non-native snakes and lizards which "pose a threat to Florida's ecology, economy, and human health and safety," the FWC wrote in a statement.
So far, environmental groups have celebrated the decision, saying it will help protect Florida's natural ecosystems, waterways and native species, while exotic pet owners and breeders who benefit from the state's profitable animal trade have condemned it.
More than 500 non-native species have been reported in Florida, 80 percent of which have been introduced through live animal trades, the FWC wrote. When these same animals are released into the wild, they reproduce and ultimately out-compete native species.
"I'm very sensitive to the people in the pet trade and enthusiasts. But this action is a result of the invasive species that continue to get into the wild," FWC Commissioner Robert Spottswood said in a statement about the ruling. "We have so many of these species now: pythons, tegus, iguanas. These animals are doing lots of damage and we are incumbent to do something."
The public hearing lasted four hours and included more than 80 people from across the country, many of whom called in to oppose the rule, The Washington Post reported. Some exotic pet owners expressed concern over losing pets they considered family members.
"If you take them away, "I would be really messed up," said one caller who owns pythons and iguanas, according to the Washington Post.
The green iguana, first spotted in Florida in 1960 and deemed an "exotic curiosity," is now considered an environmental threat that carries salmonella, enters sewers and digs up sea walls, The Guardian reported. The FWC is now encouraging locals to humanely kill iguanas found on their property in order to prevent them from causing further ecological damage, The Guardian added.
The ban will not require current owners to get rid of their pets as long as owners meet new compliance rules. It also gives businesses three years to "get rid of their breeding stock," The Washington Post reported.
Business owner Eugene Bessette, who started his Central Florida python business, Ophiological Services, more than 40 years ago, assumes the ban will result in illegal trade. This will only accelerate the invasive species problem. "If people want something, they're going to find a way to get it," Bessette told The Washington Post.
But the ban could also stop less responsible pet owners from releasing non-native reptiles into the state, the Tampa Bay Times editorial board wrote. "While the move feels at least 20 years too late for some of the damaging reptiles like the Burmese python, it's better than nothing."
The python, which can grow to be more than 15 feet long, is responsible for wreaking ecological havoc across the Everglades, the editorial board wrote. In a 2012 study, researchers found raccoon populations had dropped 99.3 percent, opossums 98.9 percent and bobcats 87.5 percent since 1997, while marsh rabbits, cottontail rabbits and foxes had disappeared. The wildlife populations that had declined the most were also the ones most commonly found in the stomachs of Burmese pythons that had been removed from Everglades National Park, the USGS reported.
Environmental groups, including the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Florida and the Everglades Coalition, have praised the recent ban for what it could mean for Florida's communities and iconic ecosystems.
"The Nature Conservancy supports proposed rule changes to address the threat of nonnative species and looks forward to working with the FWC toward solutions that could further protect Florida's environment, human health and safety, and economy," said Greg Knecht, the Florida chapter's deputy director of the Nature Conservancy, according to the FWC.
- Invasive, Dog-Sized Lizards Pose Threat Across Southeastern U.S. ... ›
- EPA Permit Won't Protect Great Lakes from Invasive Species ... ›
- Invasive Species Have Led to a Third of Animal Extinctions Since ... ›
- Are We Managing Invasive Species Wrong? ›
- Invasive Species Cost Billions of Dollars in Damages Annually, Researchers Find ›
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
Cat and dog owners dread seeing ticks or fleas on their furry friends. These parasites can spread disease and make pets itchy and miserable.
"It can be so bad that they cause lots of skin damage from their nails," says Brian Herrin, a veterinarian at Kansas State University. "They get secondary infections. They'll lose their hair. And overall, it's just a complete nuisance to the animal and the owners."
Herrin says that fleas like warm, humid weather, so pets are most likely to catch them between spring and fall. But flea infestations can happen in winter, too – especially as the climate changes.
As winters become milder, fleas stay active longer. And as conditions change, some species of ticks are expanding their ranges.
"Where I'm at in Kansas, our predominant tick is the Lone Star tick," Herrin says. "And in our area, it's a spring-summer type of tick. And so, as the temperatures change, as it becomes warmer, as we have shorter periods of cold, then its range is actually moving northward."
So Herrin recommends year-round flea and tick prevention, even if you live in the northern U.S.
"That's really the safest way," he says.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
Therapeutic riding as occupational therapy, dogs visiting children with learning disabilities in school or hens spending time with seniors in elderly homes – so called animal-assisted interventions are manifold.
But administering treatments by professionally trained therapists and maintaining animal welfare are key, says Dr. Andrea Beetz. She is a psychologist, researcher and teacher and has worked in the field of human-animal interaction for more than 20 years.
DW: In what contexts have animal assisted interventions been particularly successful or used ?
Dr. Andrea Beetz: Animals have been integrated in all kinds of education and therapy for children. Children are very open. They have a natural affinity towards animals. They're curious about them.
So you can find a lot of school-visiting dogs or animal-assisted education approaches like therapeutic riding for the disabled, for instance.
We have a lot of success because children who are often tired of being in therapy and being in special kinds of support trainings, they are motivated again to participate in these interventions.
Another group that is highly visible in the field of animal-assisted interventions are seniors. One of the earliest interventions was a visiting program with dogs in homes for the elderly.
These visits were aimed at improving wellbeing, lightening the mood, occupying them, getting their mind off their age and illnesses.
So dogs are a great distraction and they are also social catalysts. They enable and facilitate conversations between humans.
DW: What do we know about the effectiveness of animal-assisted interventions?
Dr. Beetz: During the last 10 to 15 years, there have been numerous studies that document very positive effects of animal-assisted interventions.
For instance, there are several studies documenting that animal-assisted interventions can reduce depression and anxiety, they can improve mood, trust and also empathy. They reduce all kinds of stress indicators.
Blood pressure goes down, heart rate goes down. The levels of the stress hormone cortisol are reduced. And one hormone is especially interesting – the hormone oxytocin – the levels of this hormone increased.
And you have a lot of positive effects from that because it governs the whole system for calm and connectedness.
DW: If one has a pet, does that offer any kind of benefits just on its own?
Dr. Beetz: I would say yes, if you have contact with animals or you visit a horse every second day that's on the pasture where you go for a walk, you get some kind of interaction that can have positive effects for you.
It's not the same as a structured therapy or an educational approach. But yes, if you manage to pet the horse and both of you enjoy it, it can reduce your stress level and you can feel more connected and calm.
Studies have shown that pet owners actually are, on average, a bit healthier than non-pet owners. They sleep better. They have better cardiovascular parameters, like blood pressure. They have a higher survival rate after heart attacks.
DW: Does that mean that any animal can be used in animal-assisted interventions?
Dr. Beetz: No. We, at the International Society for Animal-Assisted Therapy, say that only certain species should be used. These species are usually domesticated species like dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats, sheep. But also llamas and alpacas are very popular. They also have a long history of being domesticated by humans.
This is important because these animals are more used to and they are less stressed by interactions with humans.
In addition to being a domesticated species, they also need to be well socialized with humans from a young age so that they are not stressed by the interaction and they actually enjoy it.
This group of animal species are also the most suitable for animal protection reasons. We also do not recommend working with snakes or other kinds of reptiles because there is a risk of salmonella infections.
So there's a lot of thought behind it. Even though you will find different examples where other species like dolphins are used, this is a wild species. But in the field we say, please keep it to domesticated animals.
DW: Are there certain limitations to animal-assisted interventions?
Dr. Beetz: One exclusion criteria could be that there's a strong allergy to the species involved.
People who are immunosuppressed or on immunosuppressants due to some kind of sickness are also at higher risk.
And another reason could be that people are just afraid of certain kinds of animals. Then you really need to consider, if you're going to take the time to first work on that fear and then have the positive effects of animal-assisted interventions, or if another kind of animal-free therapy would be better.
Dr. Andrea Beetz works at the IUBH University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Beetz is also active on the board of the International Society for Animal-Assisted Therapy (ISAAT).
The interview was conducted by Mira Fricke for TV and has been edited for clarity.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
- 5 Surprising Ways People Are Coping During the Pandemic ... ›
- How to Evacuate With Pets During a Natural Disaster - EcoWatch ›
By Ellen Furlong
On Jan. 24 the White House welcomed two new residents: Champ and Major, the newly minted first dogs of the United States. The first dogs are poised to offer special benefits to workers in the White House.
Since entering the political spotlight, Champ and Major have achieved celebrity status, making news when then-President-elect Joe Biden fractured his foot while playing with Major and stumping for Biden on the campaign trail. The dogs even share a Twitter account, which features photos and doggie press releases. Major, the first shelter dog to live in the White House, has delighted so many people, the Delaware Humane Association, from which Major was adopted, held an "indoguration" ceremony for him.
Pets in the Oval Office have long fascinated many on both sides of the aisle. George H.W. Bush's springer spaniel, Millie, "authored" a book on life in the White House that charmed many readers – and even outsold her presidential guardian's autobiography. More recently, Buddy Clinton, Barney and Miss Beazley Bush and Bo and Sunny Obama have captivated the American public while roaming the halls of the White House.
As a dog enthusiast, I too take enormous delight in seeing presidents' dogs run down the White House hallways, deplane from Air Force One or campaign with their guardians. But as a psychologist studying dog cognition and behavior, I must add a crucial point: Dogs have much more to offer than feel-good stories and cute photo ops. A growing area of research suggests that dogs can provide real benefits, not only to their daily companions, but also to those in their orbit.
Presidential pup Major Biden stretches his legs on the White House lawn. Adam Schultz / Official White House photo
These benefits explain why many workplaces – from Amazon to Zygna – have begun welcoming dogs into their offices. Recent research suggests that dogs in the workplace can lead to increased worker engagement, lower employee turnover, greater work satisfaction and even enhanced employee cohesion and communication.
The Oval Office, the site of momentous decisions, enormous stress and complex social dynamics, may benefit from dogs even more than typical workplaces. After all, stress can compromise decision-making and problem-solving abilities. Pets can alleviate stress, however, dampening these effects and leading to improved performance on difficult tasks.
Not only do people report feeling less workplace stress around dogs, but their very bodies tend to support this claim. A growing area of research suggests human heart rates slow, levels of the stress hormone cortisol shrink and blood pressure decreases when people hang out with dogs. Interestingly, the positive effects of pups on stress levels exceed that of even a close friend or family member: A dog will reduce your stress more than your spouse or best friend will. After all, dogs are naturally inclined to love you unconditionally and will never find fault with the way you slurp your soup.
Dogs may reduce stress because they provide social support. You may feel supported by your pooch, in part, because of the oxytocin feedback loop between humans and dogs. Oxytocin, a hormone involved in promoting social bonds, is released in both dogs and humans when gazing into each other's eyes.
People report improved mood, increased happiness and greater energy levels around dogs. And, on the flip side, they enjoy reduced feelings of depression, loneliness and negativity when dogs are present.
Given dogs' skill at providing these supports and boosting mood, it may not surprise you to learn they work their magic not only one on one, but also in group settings. In the presence of a dog, people in groups have better social interactions, engage in more conversations and are more likely to form long-term friendships with one another.
President Clinton and President Chirac of France showing Buddy some love in 1999. National Archives and Records Administration
The effects of dogs as social lubricants can go further: Dogs even foster development of social support networks among their humans, leading to a sense of community, and more social interactions between people in their vicinity. These engagements offer opportunities for even more social support in high-stress environments. And perhaps most importantly, people are more likely to offer help when a dog is present.
Having Champ and Major in the White House may help President Biden and his staff navigate the stresses and tensions of the current political landscape. Beyond "indogurations," tweets and cute photo ops, Champ and Major will offer physical, psychological and social benefits in the Oval Office.
In short, pets (yes, cats too!) improve the quality of life in almost every context – including presidential ones. Perhaps they can, even in a small way, play a role in uniting a divided country. After all, personal politics aside, isn't it comforting to know there will be paws pattering around the White House again?
Ellen Furlong is an associate professor of Psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Disclosure statement: Ellen Furlong has written for Audible / The Great Courses. She has received funding from The National Institute of Health. She is a member of The Animal Behavior Society, The Comparative Cognition Society, The American Psychological Association, and The Society for Teaching of Psychology.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
- Here Are Biden's Day One Actions on Climate and Environment ... ›
- Consequential Biden Actions Nobody Is Talking About - EcoWatch ›
- Joe Biden Appoints Climate Crisis Team - EcoWatch ›
By Daisy Simmons
Whether your charge is a lap dog, bird, outdoor cat, or farm animal, planning ahead for a potential evacuation can help you protect your animals and also first responders, who may risk their safety to save your pets.
Take the following measures now to help keep family pets safe should an evacuation become necessary:
1. Stay Informed
A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit Ready.gov to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning NOAA Weather Radio to your local emergency station or using the FEMA app to get National Weather Service alerts.
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable
Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. Microchipping your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.
Additionally, use 'animals inside' door/window stickers to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan
"No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in a video produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.
Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.
For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers tips on what to expect there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.
Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.
If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.
For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that here.)
For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit
Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:
- Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;
- Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;
- Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);
- Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;
- A pet first aid kit;
- A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;
- A favorite toy and/or blanket;
- If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding stress-relieving items like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.
In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:
- Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;
- A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;
- Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;
- Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;
- A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time
It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.
As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, pet disaster preparedness will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals
The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.
Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.
For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has more information.
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets
As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
- 5 Ways to Be an Eco-Friendly Pet Owner - EcoWatch ›
- Can Your Pets Get and Transmit Coronavirus? - EcoWatch ›
- Animals as Therapists? - EcoWatch ›
Maybe you've tried CBD and hemp oil products yourself or you've heard another pet owner talking about it, and you're curious if it can offer the same health benefits to your furry friend. In fact, pet treats infused with the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant can help dogs and other animals to manage symptoms associated with various conditions and environmental factors.
If your dog gets anxious during a car ride, or is experiencing chronic pain, hemp dog treats may be able to help. Pet owners have found organic hemp products to be easy to administer and quick to provide relief to their dogs. To understand a little more about hemp dog treats and their benefits, read on.
How Can CBD Pet Products Help My Dog?
You might see both CBD dog treats and hemp dog treats being sold online. You'll want to make sure whatever hemp extract you purchase contains CBD, which is the key cannabinoid and the principal source of relief. Benefits of CBD include its ability to relieve pain, separation anxiety, and reduce aggressive tendencies in some dogs. It has also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties.
It's important to buy CBD products that are specifically designed for dogs. Regular CBD products contain concentrations that are too high for pets. Feeding your dog the right CBD treat or CBD tincture could result in a happier, healthier best friend.
Many owners find success using CBD oil for dogs. Oil products can be mixed in with your dog's food from a dropper and come in flavors like bacon or beef your dog might like. CBD can also improve your dog's coat and skin health. CBD topicals can be rubbed onto itchy or irritated skin. Hemp dog treats are perhaps the easiest to work into your dog care routine. But with so many options, it's hard to know which treat to choose.
CBD Oils for Dogs to Consider
Below is a list of high-quality CBD oil products that we recommend for dogs. Each of these brands has exhibited a commitment to third-party lab testing and creates quality products we think you can trust.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Honest Paws USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs
- NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil
- Medterra CBD Tincture for Pets
- CBDistillery Pet Tincture
What to Look for In CBD Oils for Dogs
While most CBD products are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, there are still important things to look out for when you buy. Whenever we evaluate a CBD brand or product, we look at six main categories: value; strength; source; flavor; transparency; customer experience.
Each of these categories allow us to ensure that the CBD oil offers the right potency, is sourced from hemp grown in the US, contains natural ingredients, and is properly tested by an independent third-party lab. We prioritize products that are organic, free from gluten, pesticides, heavy metals, and artificial ingredients. The American Kennel Club emphasizes that it's important to choose organic products, to not skimp on the price, to make sure you can access the product's lab analysis, and to go with liquid CBD tinctures
Honest Paws Wellness
Honest Paws offers everything from CBD oils and treats to peanut butter and shampoos. We personally like their Wellness USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs. It offers a natural way to help support your dog's immune system and boost their physical and mental health as well. This full spectrum CBD oil is made from Colorado hemp and is 100 percent USDA organic, non-GMO, and made without soy, corn, or other additives.
NuLeaf Naturals makes dosing easier, as the oils all come in a consistent strength and are made from hemp grown in the USA. NuLeaf Naturals offers a clean, natural way to try plant-based relief for your pet. All products are also certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture so you can trust what goes into them.
All Medterra products are THC free and come in a variety of flavors — including chicken and beef. Concentrations available are 150mg, 300mg, and 750mg per 30 milliliter bottle. As with Medterra's human-focused products, these oils are made with broad spectrum CBD from Kentucky-grown hemp.
CBDistillery CBD products are processed in cold-pressed hemp seed oil. This is meant to aid in the dog's digestion of the product. They have a 150-milligram tincture for small to medium sized dogs and the 600-milligram pet CBD oil is made for larger breeds — each is affordable when compared to other brands on the market.
Learn More About CBD for Dogs
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol is found in the cannabis sativa plant, which has become popular for its function as a wellness supplement with a range of health benefits. Most CBD products are derived from hemp rather than marijuana. Hemp typically has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The marijuana plant, however, is high in THC, which creates its trademark psychoactive effect.
In humans and dogs, once CBD enters the body it interacts with the receptors in something called the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates other systems in the body and helps to maintain proper functioning and general wellness.
The FDA is still trying to learn more about CBD and its long term effects, and has yet to approve the compound for use in treating, curing, or preventing any condition or disease. The lack of FDA approval means there is a lack of oversight in the industry and little regulation of the companies competing in the space. Consumers should do their own research before taking CBD or giving it to their pets.
What the Experts Say About CBD and Dogs
The American Kennel Club says "while there's no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there's anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures."
A study conducted by Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine showed that treatment with CBD oil resulted in decreased pain for dogs with osteoarthritis.
And in a survey collected by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, data from over 600 pet owners found that CBD use in animals also seems to yield positive results.
Is CBD the Right Choice for Your Dog?
If you're unsure of how effective hemp dog treats will be in relieving your pet's symptoms, you may want to consult a vet. It's also important to talk to a medical professional about any existing medications your dog may be taking and how they'll interact with a hemp extract. Hemp extracts have minimal side effects, but it still helps to be cautious with dosage and the concentration of the product.
It's also a good idea to seek out reputable brands who care about their customers and put effort into taking the proper safety precautions. If you find a brand you trust, then you can feel assured that the contents and recommended dosage listed are correct.
CBD Oil for Separation Anxiety in Dogs
If your dog has mild separation anxiety, their veterinarian will likely suggest that you begin by trying to teach them new behaviors and a new emotional response to being alone. This is called conditioning and often includes creating a pleasant emotional response to separation by leaving a treat or toy for your pet.
Many pet owners have some success by beginning with leaving for a short period of time and slowly working their way up from there.
Just like humans, daily rigorous exercise is a great way to help lessen the symptoms of anxiety. More severe cases of separation anxiety may require your dog to see a specialist. In some cases, prescription medication is used to lessen the symptoms of their anxiety.
These medications may have side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, increased appetite, and more.While there isn't formal research that has been conducted to evaluate the use of cannabidiol for treating separation anxiety in dogs, there are plenty of products marketed for just that. It is understandable if you feel hesitant about this alternative treatment or feel hesitant about unsupported claims.
What the Research Says
So far, the research concerning the use of CBD oil for dogs has looked at its usefulness as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis. For instance, a 2018 study published by Frontiers of Veterinary Science found CBD oil to provide a significant decrease in pain symptoms. What does that mean for dogs with anxiety? One worthwhile piece of evidence provided by this study is the fact that the use of cannabidiol oil did not result in negative side effects in the dog, making it a potentially safe alternative treatment for canines.
Outside of the safety of cannabidiol for dogs, we also know that it has been deemed an effective method for reducing anxiety in humans. In a 2015 literature review published in Neurotherapeutics, we see that cannabidiol has been known to reduce anxiety in a variety of anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and even symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is believed that it is a fair assumption that this also applies to dogs. This is because dogs also have an endocannabinoid system, the system that responds to cannabidiol oil and ultimately influences the nervous system as explained by the American Animal Hospital Association in their publication Trends.
How to Use CBD for Dogs
In order to produce maximum results, pay attention to the concentration of CBD in each package or treat in order to determine proper dosages. Dog treats and other hemp products for pets should be taken once or twice a day at a consistent time for effective relief.
CBD dog biscuits and chews come in many different flavors your dog may find appealing, making fitting them into your dog care routine simpler. The advantages of using CBD oil for dogs are that oil normally has a higher CBD concentration than CBD dog treats, and oil can also be easily mixed into your dog's food.
Risks to Consider
Although CBD shows potential in the world of veterinary medicine, many vets will be unsure of its long-term effects and if it's something they should recommend. But it can still be helpful to consult a professional who knows your pet's medical history. Talk to a vet about the potential side effects of CBD and how it could interact with any existing medication. If you're cautious and thorough in your search, it will pay off and your dog will be healthier and happier for it.
Some adverse side effects, such as an upset stomach or drowsiness, may occur in rare instances — but these can likely be avoided by supplying the proper dose.
Melena Gurganus is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
- Is Coconut Oil Good or Bad for Dogs? ›
- CBD Oil for Dogs: 7 Benefits & Treatment Guide - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD for Dogs 2020 - Organic CBD Oil for Pets - EcoWatch ›
- Strongest CBD Oils to Buy in 2021? - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Capsules & Pills - Buyer's Guide (Update for 2021) - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Vape Pen: Top Brands of 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oils For Pain: Top 3 Brands of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oil for Pain - Top 10 CBD Oil Review 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- Because Price Matters: Most Affordable CBD Oils of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
By Annette O'Connor, Jan Sargeant and Sarah Totton
Humans and animals share many diseases. And as dramatically shown by the tigers that tested positive in the Bronx Zoo, the coronavirus is one of them. As three veterinary epidemiologists who study infectious disease, we have been asked a lot questions about if and how the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 affects pets.
Can My Pet Get the Coronavirus?
When talking about a virus, the words "get" or "catch" are vague. A more precise question is: Can my cat or dog become infected with SARS-CoV-2?
The answer is yes. There is evidence from real-world cases as well as laboratory experiments that both cats and dogs can become infected with coronavirus.
In Hong Kong, health officials have tested 17 dogs and eight cats living with COVID-19 patients for the coronavirus. They found evidence of the virus in two dogs: a Pomeranian and a German shepherd, though neither became sick.
None of the eight cats were infected or had been sick. However, there is a separate report of an infected cat from Hong Kong.
Another case of an infected cat was reported in Belgium. Again, the owner of the cat had COVID-19, but unlike the infected cat in Hong Kong, this one had become sick with respiratory problems as well as diarrhea and vomiting.
The final evidence comes from Wuhan, where researchers tested 102 cats and released a pre-print study of the results. Fifteen of those cats tested positive for the antibodies to the virus – meaning the cats been exposed in the past. As the researchers say in the paper, the coronavirus has "infected cat populations in Wuhan, implying that this risk could also occur at other outbreak regions." This study tested cats from owners with COVID-19, veterinary hospitals and even some strays. Three of the infected cats were owned by COVID-19-affected patients which explains their exposure; for the other 12 it is unclear how they were infected.
Can My Pet Spread the Virus to Another Animal?
If cats or dogs can spread the coronavirus, health agencies and the public would need to incorporate these animals into their planning to contain and slow the pandemic. It is very important to know how easily the coronavirus replicates in pets and whether they can transfer it to other animals. A group of researchers in China set out to answer these questions.
To do this, they inoculated – that is, directly exposed – a number of cats and dogs with the coronavirus by deliberately placing large doses of live SARS-CoV-2 into their noses. The scientists then put some of these inoculated animals next to uninfected control animals to see if the exposed animals got sick, could spread the virus to the uninfected animals, or both.
The researchers found that kittens and adolescent cats can become infected when given a large dose of the virus. All five of the kittens who were inoculated became sick and two died, but all of the adolescent cats were able to fight off the infection without becoming seriously ill.
They also found that cats can spread the coronavirus to other cats. After a week, one-third of the uninfected cats that were placed next to the inoculated cats tested positive for the coronavirus.
These results provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can replicate in cats and can make them sick. It also shows that cats can transfer the virus through the air to other cats.
The same researchers also looked at dogs and found them to be much more resistant to the virus and unable to transmit it to other animals.
This is important information, but the conditions of the experiment were very unnatural. There are no studies about transmission of the virus between cats and dogs in the real world so it remains unclear whether natural transmission is occurring. While this experiment shows that cats and dogs are not totally immune to the coronavirus, the lack of a pandemic among household pets provides some evidence that they are more resistant than people are.
Can I Get the Coronavirus From My Cat?
While we can't say it would be impossible to catch the coronavirus from a cat or dog, the research suggests this is extremely unlikely. There are currently no reported cases of people catching the coronavirus from animals.
The World Health Organization says that "based on current evidence, human to human transmission remains the main driver" of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that "further evidence is needed to understand if animals and pets can spread the disease."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there is no evidence pets can spread COVID-19 to people.
While your cat can get infected, according to the science, it is extremely unlikely they could pass it to you. In fact, if your cat is infected, the chances are your cat caught the coronavirus from you.
Should I Keep My Cat Inside or Change My Dog’s Behavior?
Although the chances of your pet catching the coronavirus from another animal are low, if you take your dog or cat outside, have your pets follow the same rules as everyone else – keep them away from other people and animals.
If a dog approaches you, there is no need to be scared of getting sick from virus on the dog's fur. But avoid approaching dogs on leashes – not because of the dog, but because there is usually a human on the other end.
If you become ill with COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you isolate yourself from your pets and have someone else care for them. If that isn't possible, continue to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
Also remember: If your pet needs medical care, make sure you inform your veterinarian if you or a household member is ill with COVID-19. That information will allow your veterinarian to take adequate precautions.
The evidence around pets and the coronavirus is changing rapidly and our team is keeping an updated review about how cats, dogs, ferrets, other less common pets and livestock are affected by the new coronavirus. But where the science stands today, there is little to worry about with regards to your cat or dog. In rare cases, they might become infected with the virus, but the chances of them getting sick from the infection or passing it on to you or another animal are extremely low.
Annette O'Connor is a Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology at Michigan State University.
Jan Sargeant is a Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology at University of Guelph.
Sarah Totton is a Research Assistant at University of Guelph.
Disclosure statement: The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
- Coronavirus Shines Light on Zoos as Danger Zones for Deadly Disease Transmission Between Humans and Animals - EcoWatch ›
- Dogs Can Detect Coronavirus Fast and Reliably - EcoWatch ›
- Gorillas in San Diego Test Positive for Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- How to Evacuate With Pets During a Natural Disaster - EcoWatch ›
Studies show that it has several impressive health benefits for humans.
Interestingly, many people also give coconut oil to their dogs or apply it to their dogs' fur.
While most studies on coconut oil have been conducted on humans, the results may be applicable to dogs as well.
This article explores the benefits and risks of using coconut oil on dogs.
Coconut Oil May Help Your Dog's Skin Issues
Using coconut oil to treat skin conditions is a common practice with well-known benefits. The positive effects are likely due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
One study found that coconut oil effectively hydrates the skin of people with xerosis, a condition characterized by dry and itchy skin.
This study was conducted on humans — not dogs. However, many dog owners and veterinarians claim that coconut oil can help treat dry skin and eczema in dogs when applied topically.
Coconut oil may help treat skin conditions in humans, and some people claim that it's also helpful for the skin of dogs.
It Can Improve the Appearance of Your Dog's Fur
Coconut oil may improve the appearance of your dog's fur.
When applied to the skin, it can make hair shinier and less prone to damage.
This is because lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil, has a unique chemical makeup that allows it to easily penetrate hair shafts.
Other types of fat don't have this same ability, so using coconut oil may help keep your dog's coat healthy and beautiful.
The lauric acid in coconut oil has been shown to keep hair healthier than other fatty acids. It can be used to improve the health and appearance of your dog's fur.
It May Help Fight Off Pests
The antimicrobial effects of coconut oil may prevent dogs from being infected by ectoparasites, such as ticks, fleas, and mange mites.
It has also been shown to help eliminate these pests in dogs that have already been infected.
These effects were confirmed by two studies in which dogs were treated with a shampoo made with coconut oil.
Moreover, coconut oil has also been shown to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi in lab studies.
Coconut oil may be beneficial for preventing pest infections and treating bites.
Risks Associated With Using Coconut Oil on Dogs
Although adverse effects are rare, there are a few things to consider before using coconut oil on your dog.
There's always the risk for an allergic reaction when introducing something new to your dog's diet or grooming regimen. If a reaction occurs, stop using it.
Also, some studies have shown that coconut oil can cause high cholesterol in dogs. In extreme cases, this can cause fatty plaques to develop in the arteries.
Furthermore, due to its high calorie content, using coconut oil in excess may lead to weight gain.
Lastly, one study concluded that a diet high in saturated fat reduces dogs' scent-detecting abilities. More research is needed to better understand this finding, but you may want to use caution with coconut oil if you have a working dog.
Coconut oil may cause high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, and weight gain in some dogs. If your dog is prone to any of these conditions, talk with a veterinarian before use.
How to Use Coconut Oil on Dogs
Coconut oil is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts or have applied to their skin or fur.
When it comes to selecting a brand, virgin coconut oil is best, as most of coconut oil's benefits have been observed with this type.
According to some sources, coconut oil can generally be given to dogs one to two times a day with meals.
The amount you give your dog will depend on its size. If your dog is overweight or has obesity, don't give it coconut oil more than once a day.
Veterinarians stress the importance of starting slowly with coconut oil. This will allow you to monitor how your dog reacts to it.
Start by giving 1/4 teaspoon daily to small dogs or 1 tablespoon daily to big dogs and gradually increase the amount. If your dog tolerates it well after 2 weeks, increase the dose to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight.
Due to a lack of research, these recommendations are not established.
Don't feed your dog coconut oil alone. Instead, mix it in with your dog's regular food. This will keep its diet varied and nutrient dense.
All dogs being fed coconut oil should be monitored for weight gain, diarrhea, and other symptoms that may signify intolerance.
Keep in mind that studies haven't revealed any benefits of using coconut oil in dog feed. On the other hand, using it on your dog's skin may improve certain skin conditions.
If you're applying the coconut oil topically, rub a small amount onto your hands and then gently pat its coat, running your fingers through the fur and massaging a little into its skin.
Coconut oil can be fed to dogs or applied to their skin. Start slowly and increase the amount you give your dog gradually.
Research on using coconut oil for pets is lacking. The benefits are mainly anecdotal, as well as based on findings in humans, rodents, and test-tube studies.
Despite the lack of research, giving it to your dog in small doses is relatively safe.
Ultimately, it's a personal choice. Using coconut oil on your dog has a few potential benefits and might be worth trying.
The risks are unlikely but worth keeping in mind. It's important to monitor your dog's health after adding anything to its regimen.
Talk to a veterinarian if you have further questions or concerns about giving your dog coconut oil.
I eat mostly a plant-based diet, I say no to plastic straws and I'm trying to cut back on driving. But for my rescue pup Lela, I'll spoil her with a bit of grass-fed lamb, one of the most carbon-intensive meats out there.
As a person who spends the whole work week writing and thinking about the environment, I cringe at the thought of my dog's substantial environmental pawprint. So when news came out that British company Yora is offering pet food that swaps meat with climate-friendly insects, that got me thinking about how all pet owners can make better environmental choices for their furballs.
By Julie Wilson
We know that humans increasingly test positive for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller. For example, in tests conducted by a University of California San Francisco lab, 93 percent of the participants tested positive for glyphosate residues.
In the European Union, when 48 members of Parliament volunteered for glyphosate testing, every one of them tested positive.
In October 2017, Time magazine reported on a study involving 50 Californians who were tested between 1993-1996 and again between 2014-2016. Scientists found that not only did the number of people who tested positive for glyphosate residues increase, but so did the amounts of the residues detected.
Humans are exposed to glyphosate via the food they eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink and the lawns, gardens, parks and other environments they frequent. If humans are contaminated with glyphosate, it stands to reason that their pets are, too.
In fact, a recent pilot study shows that animals are likely to have even higher levels—up to 50 percent higher—of glyphosate in their bodies.
"In a pilot study, we noticed that dogs' glyphosate levels were, on average, 50 times higher than people's," said Dr. John Fagan, chief scientist at HRI Labs and former researcher at the National Institutes of Health. "Recent biomedical research suggests harm to health at these levels, and even lower," he added.
To follow up on the pilot study, HRI Labs has launched a citizen science research project whereby the lab will work with pet owners to determine why animals have such a high exposure to glyphosate.
The project, launched on Tuesday, May 8, aims to identify the primary route by which pets are exposed to the weedkiller. The outcome is expected to give pet owners the information they need to protect their loved ones from a potentially deadly toxin—one that has already been found in disturbingly high levels in dogs.
Pets may be more vulnerable to toxins because they are lower to the ground, have unprotected paws and may eat foods laced with glyphosate, says Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian known for her Healthy Pets blog.
Pet owners throughout North America can participate in the study by requesting a collection kit, sending a sample of their pet's urine to HRI Labs and completing an online survey about their pet's diet, health and lifestyle. Learn more about the study here.
Studies Link Lawn Chemicals to Canine Cancer
New research suggests that exposure to pesticides may affect canines similarly to how it affects humans. Scientists have increasingly been able to link lawn chemicals, particularly 2,4-D, to canine cancer.
"Studies found that lawn chemicals travel to neighboring yards and inside homes, and chemicals have been found in the urine of dogs whose owners did not spray their lawns," reports Think About Now.
"Chemicals were detected in the urine of dogs in 14 of 25 households before lawn treatment, in 19 of 25 households after lawn treatment, and in 4 of 8 untreated households. Chemicals were commonly detected in grass residues from treated lawns, and from untreated lawns suggesting chemical drift from nearby treated areas."
Other studies have also linked herbicides containing 2,4-D to CML, which is reported to have "a similar histology and epidemiology" as non-Hodgkin lymphoma—also linked to 2,4-D exposure.
Recent reports say glyphosate may alter the human microbiome—a complex ecosystem made up of microorganisms that control a range of important processes including immune system function and brain health—and at levels considered "safe" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
If glyphosate is capable of wreaking this much havoc on human health, then what impact is it having on the health of our pets?
The scientists at HRI Labs aim to find out.
''The citizen science movement makes it possible to carry out rigorous scientific research on topics that are not necessarily of interest to corporations and government agencies that typically fund most research," HRI Labs stated in a recent press release.
To learn more about the study or to participate, click here.
California Court Ruling Ends Decades of State Pesticide Spraying https://t.co/Wus6twhgFU @wwwfoecouk @greenpeaceaustp— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1520158805.0
Julie Wilson is communications associate for the Organic Consumers Association.
- Monsanto Bullies EPA on Glyphosate Ruling ›
- Chemical Dumping Linked to California Sea Lions’ High Cancer Rates - EcoWatch ›
By Danny Prater
Are dog bone treats dangerous? A statement issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rippled across the internet, sparking discussions about the potential dangers of giving dogs processed bones to chew on and ingest as treats. According to reports, dozens of dogs are known to have fallen ill or been injured by bone treats, and at least 15 have died, but the actual number of unreported cases is likely much higher.
However, this warning is nothing new. In fact, the FDA only re-released an already-existing statement detailing the dangers of giving bone treats to dogs as a cautionary measure in advance of the holidays, as people are more likely to give the special dogs in their lives bone treats as gifts. According to the FDA, bone treats pose the following threats to dogs: oral wounds, choking, vomiting, intestinal blockage, diarrhea and even death. A dog experiencing symptoms may require an emergency visit to the vet and possibly even surgery.
What Can You Do to Keep Your Animal Companion Safe?
Don't give dogs unsafe treats like cooked bones, pig ears, cow hooves or jerky treats.
Dogs may think these items are special, but they can cause a lot of harm. Processed animal bones are often brittle with jagged edges and can result in a very sick dog. Dogs who ingest these types of products can develop conditions like gastroenteritis and pancreatitis, both of which can result in vomiting and may even require hospitalization for IV fluid support. Since 2007, at least 4,800 dogs and cats have fallen ill, and more than 1,000 dogs have died of kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding and Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disorder, after eating jerky-style treats. These are only the cases that were documented, and countless other dogs may have also been adversely affected.
Choose treats that are size-appropriate.
Offering a treat that is too small may cause dogs to swallow an object whole, while feeding them one that is too large could cause a fragment to get stuck in their throat. Treats should break into small pieces as the dog chews.
Try these bone-free treats and foods instead!
There is a wide variety of safe, fun dog treats to add to your holiday shopping list for the dogs and dog lovers in your life. Bone-free treats are available from vegan retailers like V-dog. And check out this Holiday Dog Treat Wreath, which is decorated with vegan treats from Threepaws Gourmet. All the brands and products listed in our Vegan Dog Food Guide are also worth checking out.
Keep an eye on your dog.
Recreational chewing can be a healthy way to keep your dogs' teeth clean, but remember that it's always important to keep a close eye on them. They can't always communicate their pain or discomfort clearly to their human guardians, so it's important to recognize what "normal" looks like—and to realize when they may be in trouble.